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Howard Rose and M. Cynthia Rose v. Aurora Bank

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 19, 2012

HOWARD ROSE AND M. CYNTHIA ROSE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AURORA BANK, FSB AND DOES 1-20, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew Senior, U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER re: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint [7]

On June 12, 2012, Defendant Aurora Bank, FSB's ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint came on for regular calendar before the Court. Having reviewed all arguments and papers submitted pertaining to this Application, the Court NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS:

The Court hereby GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss as to Plaintiffs Howard Rose and M. Cynthia Rose's ("Plaintiffs") Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") claim because Plaintiffs have not opposed the dismissal of this claim.

The Court finds that the dismissal of the FDCPA claim, the only federal claim in this Action, destroys the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. Because only a state claim remains, the Court no longer has federal question jurisdiction over this Action. Therefore, only diversity jurisdiction may be a basis for the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. However, the Court finds that the amount in controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) is not met here. Specifically, Plaintiffs' Complaint was filed in state court as a "Limited" jurisdiction case, meaning that the amount demanded is $25,000 or less. In addition, the prayer for relief requests only "actual damages to be proven at trial," costs, attorney's fees, and statutory damages of $2,000. And finally, the caption of Plaintiffs' Complaint states in bold "Limited - Under $10,000." Thus, the Court finds that Defendant cannot show that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 here.

Defendant attempts to argue in its Notice of Removal that the value of the object of the litigation, the $300,000 loan to Plaintiffs, satisfies the amount in controversy requirement. Defendant cites to case law that holds: "In actions seeking declaratory or injunctive relief, it is well established that the amount in controversy is measured by the value of the object of the litigation." Cohn v. Petsmart, 281 F.3d 837, 840 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Hunt v. Wash. State Apple Adver. Comm'n, 432 U.S. 333, 347 (1977)). However, this theory is not applicable here since Plaintiffs do not seek declaratory or injunctive relief. Therefore, the Court finds that it does not have subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to federal question or diversity jurisdiction.

Accordingly, the Court hereby DISMISSES Plaintiffs' FDCPA claim and REMANDS this Action to the Superior Court of California.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120619

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